Many educators believe that the success element in their mission is their academic integrity. Higher education can benefit from such integrity standards which are often associated with effervescent academic life while preparing the students for becoming responsible people. In spite of numerous efforts being implemented to uphold these principles of integrity in many institutions, academic cheating or dishonesty is still a great concern for many higher education institutions; and it is believed to have been triggered by the increase in the use of the internet.
The internet has provided an easy avenue for students to practice plagiarism and fabrication, where they copy or tamper with the information they find online to meet their needs. Also, most learning institutions lack appropriate guidelines and codes on cheating to help reduce the increasing cheating cases. Therefore, cheating is a growing issue in the US and in particular among higher education students because of students’ failure to understand the gravity of plagiarism issue on their performance, students have adopted cheating as a habit and also they too lazy to handle their assignments themselves or intellectually.
Despite many educators stressing to students the adversities of cheating and plagiarism, most students have still failed to comprehend the weight imposed by plagiarism on their academic performance. The number of students cheating cases in learning institutions is increasing as students have found a loop hole to engage in heating without being caught by the educators. This has led to the increasing tendencies of students taking materials from other sources and the internet without providing the required credit to the original authors (Khadaroo and Allison, par2). According to Khadaroo and Allison, the collaboration as well as obtaining material from the internet is becoming part of students’ psych; therefore, they never report this as cheating or plagiarism. Furthermore, some faculties have not fully spelled out what comprises plagiarism, therefore students do not understand if they are permitted to utilize their digital devices while in class as well as when taking assignments, which in most cases is regarded as cheating (Khadaroo and Allison, par4).
In addition, students do not consider collaborating with other students to undertake an assignment plagiarism, even if their papers will look similar. Unlike Khadaroo and Allison, the video “21st Century College Cheating” illustrates that higher education institutions need to implement appropriate honor codes that govern the students’ practices in relation to plagiarism, “the instructors cannot tell between a genuine and bought paper…”( 21st Century College Cheating 2.30 min). Had schools defined plagiarism from the word go and implemented appropriate policies and codes that govern students’ practices with regards to plagiarism, this issue could not have been rampant today.
Students have adopted the habit of cheating and some are even being encouraged by their parents, thus making academic dishonesty normal in many institutions.
Cheating has become an acceptable habit in the society, as long as the students pass their examinations. The lack of parental awareness on the academic welfare of the students has also contributed to the increased cases of teaching. According to the student interviewed in the video “21st Century College Cheating” (1:15min), the student admitted to using allowance from his mother to pay for his assignments. This is an indication that parents unknowingly pay for their children’s’ assignments to be done by other people. In addition, many students have embraced the idea that their assignments can be done well and with less hustle by just pressing a button on different sites, paying and relaxing while waiting for the complete paper.
The video 21st Century College Cheating illustrates that “… thousands of companies and individuals online have made it easier for students to order for homework at a price” (21st Century College Cheating 2.49 min). This is much easier compared to undertaking all the research yourself in the library. This habit has also enabled the students to undertake other activities that may not be important in their academic lives; thereby adversely affecting their ultimate academic scores (Segal A64). This cheating habit needs to be discouraged, and it should start with the parents who pay for their children’s assignments to be completed by other people. The online cheating habit does not allow the students to explore their creativity as well as develop their intellectual abilities, which is essential in the practical world.
Many students are involved with numerous unnecessary social activities that take up most of their academic times, such that they fail to do their assignments and give educators lame excuses. The lack of commitment in their studies make the students unable to handle their assignment, thus they resort to cheating to pass their exams. According to Marano (par 8), students fancy social activities like parties during school days, alcohol and drug use and other forms of disconnection from their academic life such that they interfere with their main mission of joining the universities or colleges. Marano also asserts that, “binge drinking and substance abuse, self-mutilation, and other forms of disconnection…” are some of the factors that compel students to cheat. Such activities take up their time to an extent that they do not have enough time to do their class assignments and either opt for paying companies to do them or copy from peers and the internet.
In the worst-case scenario, students provide lame excuses to educators such as family issues, death, illness, for not handing in their assignments in time. Moreover, laziness is sometimes promoted by parents, especially those who threaten educators when their children fail to attain higher grades. In such cases, parents do not talk to the children and educators to understand the root cause of failure but believe that educators have the responsibility of making their children pass highly. Students can, therefore, practice laziness since they are sure that the educators will be sued or insulted when they fail. Laziness in higher education is associated with failure; therefore, students should prioritize their academics to avoid cases of cheating when they run out of time.
Cheating is wrong although many students have embraced it throughout the US. Cheating can take many forms which have always been assumed by students. Accordingly, students cheat because they do not fully understand the adversities related to plagiarism, others are just too lazy to do their assignments in time while others have adopted cheating as a habit, therefore cannot do without it. No matter the root cause of cheating, parents, and educators have the responsibility of guiding the students on the right path of attaining academic intellect without relying on assignment companies or collaboration with other people and students. Higher education institutions should also adopt principles and policies that guide students’ cheating and academic dishonesty.